IWC New Pilot Watches For 2012

IWC New Pilot Watches For 2012

If you are a dedicated watch follower, then by now you know that 2012 is the year of the Pilot watch for IWC. Last week I shared my thoughts on the new for 2012 IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar watch here. Now I get to share with you the entire collection of new Pilot watches from the brand. You'll notice that there are more new Top Gun watches including a non-chronograph automatic with a seven day power reserve, some updated classics, and a new very much modern military look to the pieces.

None of the new pilot watches are going to make you do a double take. These are all very sober IWC Pilot watches with a lot of sales appeal and handsome looks. Those looking for something wildly new are going to be disappointed, but those looking for more variations and modern approaches to classic IWC pilot watch designs will be very happy with what is new this year at SIHH.

Starting with the Top Gun series there will be at least five new models. Two Miramar and two non-Miramar versions of essentially the same watches and well as a Top Gun version of the Pilot Perpetual Calendar watch in a cool black ceramic case. The Miramar versions (IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar and Big Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar) will come in that nice gray ceramic case with aged looking dial, while the standard versions (same names without the "Miramar part") will have black ceramic cases and a more contemporary feel. Each will come in a 46mm wide case and contain either IWC's new 7 day chronograph or three-hand 7 day automatic movements. The Perpetual Calendar is larger at 48mm wide and will contain that outgoing movement as seen on other IWC watches in the past. Nice looking pieces all around.

Next are new IWC Spitfire collection Pilot watches. These have been part of the range for along time and being updated in terms of complexity and size. They also now sport some cool in-house movements whereas the Spitfire was often seen as a nice entry-level IWC Pilot watch. The new new Spitfire models are the Spitfire Chronograph at 43mm wide with an in-house chronograph movement and the very interesting new Spitfire Perpetual Digital Date-Month Calendar. That one is likely the most interesting of the new Pilot watches as the in-house movement has a nicely integrated perpetual calendar and chronograph that are nicely managed on the same dial. There are large big digital indicators (well labeled) for the date and month registers.

This Spitifire Perpetual Digital Date-Month Calendar watch is going to be larger at 46mm wide and each of the Spitfire models ought to come in steel or 18k rose gold cases. In fact overall the new Pilot watch case choices seem to be steel, ceramic, or gold this year.

Last are some updates for what IWC calls their Classic collection. A new Big Pilot, and Mark XVII, new chronographs, and a new World Timer. First is a new IWC Big Pilot's watch in a 46mm wide case. The image here of it has a black case and it looks like a three-hand version of the older Top Gun watch with a power reserve indicator. It still has that famous 168 hour power reserve. Then there is the most basic piece which is the 41mm wide IWC Mark XVII Pilot watch with the time and date. This will come on straps as well as a bracelet. A nice smaller sized piece option.

Next is the IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph. The name is confusing because there are so many other new chronographs. This 46mm wide steel cased watches has and existing split-second chronograph movement and a looks that are a bit more mainstream than say the Top Gun models. This is likely to be a hot seller for the brand and is essentially a nice rattranpante for the brand for this year.

The last new chronograph is just called the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph, With a 43mm wide steel case and standard looking three register chronograph dial. This watch is again 46mm wide and a very handsome piece that blends the looks of other IWC Pilot watches we have seen from today and yesterday. The last new Pilot watch on my radar is the simply named IWC Pilot's Worldtimer watch. This neat looking travelers watch has a rotating 24 hour city and moving city display. This works like like the Girarard-Perregaux for example. A nice concept that isn't new, but feels like a nice addition to the Pilot collection. This useful watch will be 45mm wide will be a nice new addition to the collection.

Expect more details in time as I get some hands-on experience with the 2012 IWC Pilot watches.

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  • star42

    Thanks for another great article Ariel! I agree with your point that IWC is definitely going for a more classic, understated look with their 2012 Pilot collection (I can actually picture them on a real live military pilot’s wrist), but I’m worried that they may have taken that idea abit too far. From what you’ve shown here there seem to be more “m’eh” than “Wow”. However the Spitfire Perpetual Digital Date-Month Calendar certainly belongs in the “Wow” category. And a in-house movements certainly is a big plus….and I’m sure that goes for the price as well.

    Keep them coming mate!

    • AtSeaWatch

      @star42 I wouldn’t call a collection that is largely 46mm “classic, understated”. They’ve taken classic elements into the realm of the cartoonish.

    • AtSeaWatch

      @star42 I wouldn’t call a collection that is largely 46mm “classic, understated”. They’ve taken classic elements into the realm of the cartoonish.

  • Kris C

    Spitfire Perpetual Digital Date-Month Calendar for me please, I guess in steel but I would be interested in having that one in the ceramic case, interesting that option was left out for this model. A real beauty.

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    Ehhh, I’ll just keep my Big Pilot. The new collection has all the excitement of a display at Dillard’s.

    • AtSeaWatch

      @JohnnyJohnnyJohnny “all the excitement of a display at Dillard’s” Please please use this as your tagline, IWC. You know in your heart of hearts that it’s true. It beats my suggestions: “IWC, because, you know, big watches are a thing” or “IWC: Army surplus looks at Lockheed Martin prices”

  • AtSeaWatch

    I suppose at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what any of us think of these watches. They’ll undoubtedly sell well to the same guys who have been scooping up the military themed watches in great quantities for the last decade. They’ll be the envy of their IT departments or accounts receivable.

    What does annoy me is that there are companies out there doing the military watch thing better. In terms of looks and technology, I’d take a Bremont over any one of these wrist warts. Bremont is at least modern, without looking like a cheesy homage to the military watches that never were. These make a statement, but that statement is “I TIVO the History Channel”. The Miramar models are going for some sort of Vietnam-era look, like they’ll retroactively be on the wrists of guys piloting F4s over Hanoi. IWC has gone from making watches that at least look like they could be worn by pilots to making watches that look like the Hollywood idea of what pilots would wear. They’re all so theatrical. A watch design can be an abstraction of an activity, but these are a distortion of the abstraction and in the end, represent nothing real at all.

    Paging Baudrillard.

  • nolasensei

    There is no ground-breaking design work here. These themes have been done dozens of other times by other companies . . . and what about the movements? More ETA based “in house” engines that don’t deliver any more performance than off the rack ebauche dropped into a larger case design?

  • CG

    Just type in wristwatch in the search window and you’ll get every variation of military wristwatch in gov’t inventory… Just type in wristwatch in the search window and you’ll get every variation of military wristwatch in gov’t inventory
    …there is an interesting dive watch in there. If it’s Broad Arrow marked or NSN numbered then I consider it a military watch ALL others are private purchase fakes/poseurs; non-issue watches ARE NOT military.

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